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It’s Carnival

The Online Community For Carnival & Soca Lovers

Peacock Feather

Notting Hill Carnival History

Notting Hill Carnival started 50 years ago this year from very humble beginnings. Carnival has grown into a wonderful vibrant spectacle not to be missed.

Notting Hill Carnival has taken place on the Sunday and Monday of the August bank holiday since 1965. It was started by members of the West Indian migrant community in London, in particular those from Trinidad and Tobago, where Carnival originated.

Notting Hill Carnival started in 1959 in St Pancreas Town Hall as a result of the bad race relations for West Indian People in London and after the Notting Hill race riots, which took place the previous year. This carnival was organised by Claudia Jones from Trinidad and Tobago.

Among the early bands to participate in Notting Hill Carnival were Ebony Steelband and Metronomes Steelband. This was the first time that steelpans were played on any streets in the UK. It also helped to unit the West Indian community. Notting Hill Carnival became a major festival in 1975 when it was organised by a teacher called Leslie Palmer, who felt alienated from community celebration. Ever since Ladbroke Grove area has been the carnival’s traditional starting point.

By 1976, the event had become a fully fledged Caribbean affair, full of Caribbean flavour, with around 150,000 people attending. However, in that year and a few years after, the carnival was tarnished by riots, in which young West Indian’s clashed with police, after becoming fed up with being harrassed by police. Of course this was covered by the press at the time. They unfairly showed The Notting Hill Carnival in a negative light. In recent years, the event has been much freer from serious trouble. But sometimes the press can still be one sided.

We advise you, if you have never been and heard any negative press, rest assured you will have a blast. The Notting Hill Carnival is a celebration of London’s multi-cultural diversity. The beautiful Caribbean culture comes to life at Notting Hill Carnival. Please also read our community page, to find out more about Carnival Arts and how beneficial Carnival is for the black community.

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